Gutters perform a crucial but sometimes forgotten role. When the weather takes a turn for the worse, clean, debris-free gutters channel the rainwater away from your home. This keeps your home and its foundation dry. But if leaves and dirt clog your gutters, rainwater will no longer flow unimpeded away from your home. Instead, that water will often sit and stagnate.
Unfortunately, a whole host of plant life can take root in dirty gutters. Worse still, dirty gutters contain just the right conditions for various pests to live in and thrive. Some of these pests are bad for your health, and all of them can cause damage to your home.
If your gutters are dirty or in poor condition, you could send out an invitation to the following pests.
When gutters contain leaves, twigs and moisture, they make the perfect breeding ground for all manner of insects and plant life. And birds need all of those things to survive. That means your dirty gutters could soon house a sparrow, starling or even an irritating Indian Myna bird nest. Aside from the noise that birds make, you also have bird mites.
Bird mites live on birds and feed off their blood much like fleas living on a dog. But, also like fleas, bird mites can drink the blood of humans if necessary. So the last place you want birds to be is above your head in your gutters. When those birds leave their nest, the bird mites living in the nest could then make their way into your home.
Bird mite bites also cause skin irritation, and you might confuse them with bedbug bites.
2. Wasps and hornets
Stinging insects are also something that you really don’t want living above your head. Dirty gutters contain many of the things that wasps and hornets need to survive, such as insects, water and plant material. And this means that your dirty gutters could soon attract the attention of a wasp or hornet queen on the lookout for a nesting site.
Another pest that might live and breed in your dirty gutters are mosquitoes. Mosquito larvae only need water, fungi and other tiny microorganisms to survive. And guess what? Dirty, water-clogged gutters contain all of those things. So if your gutters are currently clogged with leaves and debris, they also might contain mosquito larvae.
4. Roof rats and mice
Mice and roof rats are agile climbers. And a gutter full of debris is an enticing prospect for either of these rodent species. But they might do more than just feast on the worms and insects in your dirty gutters. They might also then infiltrate your roof space, where they will nest and breed. A colony of mice or rats can do a lot of damage to your roof insulation, electric wiring and roof.
One of the biggest threats to your home is termites. A gutter brimming with cellulose, moisture and dark places to hide could become a satellite colony for a hungry termite nest. And you don’t need to be told just how damaging that could be to your home. Termites never sleep, and they never stop eating. A dirty gutter could act as a staging point for a full home invasion by termites.
Have you had your home’s gutters cleaned recently? Clean and debris-free gutters help to keep your home dry and pest free. If you think the time has come to clean your gutters, then you need a professional to do a thorough job. Call Homestyle Roof Painters today, and we’ll ensure that your gutters are clean, free of debris and in good working condition.